The mosque and social control in Edinburgh's Muslim community

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The present paper is based on an ethnographic study of the social organisation of one of the main mosques (Markazi Jamia Masjid‐i‐Anwar‐i‐Madina) in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The main focus of the paper is the ways the mosque operates as an agency of social control among the Muslim population of Edinburgh. This study identifies sabaq—mosque‐based religious education of young Muslims—and the Jom'a (Friday) congregational prayer as the two main mechanisms of social control within the mosque. It is argued that while the social organisation of the mosque is, in some important ways, a response to and shaped by exclusionary practices in the wider society, it plays a central role in the maintenance of order in the Muslim community of Edinburgh.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-219
JournalCulture and Religion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • social control
  • Islam
  • Muslims
  • Scotland
  • sabaq
  • mosque


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